Driven mostly by the search for chemical syntheses under biocompatible conditions, so called “click” chemistry rapidly became a growing field of research. The resulting simple one-pot reactions are so far only scarcely accompanied by an adequate optimization via comparably straightforward and robust analysis techniques possessing short set-up times. Here, we report on a fast and reliable calibration-free online NMR monitoring approach for technical mixtures. It combines a versatile fluidic system, continuous-flow measurement of 1H spectra with a time interval of 20 s per spectrum, and a robust, fully automated algorithm to interpret the obtained data. As a proof-of-concept, the thiol-ene coupling between N-boc cysteine methyl ester and allyl alcohol was conducted in a variety of non-deuterated solvents while its time-resolved behaviour was characterized with step tracer experiments. Overlapping signals in online spectra during thiol-ene coupling could be deconvoluted with a spectral model using indirect hard modeling and were subsequently converted to either molar ratios (using a calibration-free approach) or absolute concentrations (using 1-point calibration). For various solvents the kinetic constant k for pseudo-first order reaction was estimated to be 3.9 h−1 at 25 °C. The obtained results were compared with direct integration of non-overlapping signals and showed good agreement with the implemented mass balance.
Michalik-Onichimowska, A., Kern, S., Riedel, J., Panne, U., King, R., & Maiwald, M. (2017). “Click” analytics for “click” chemistry – A simple method for calibration–free evaluation of online NMR spectra. Journal of Magnetic Resonance, 277, 154–161. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jmr.2017.02.018